|26th July 2021, 17:06||#31|
Join Date: Oct 2012
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An MBT means Main Battle Tank and would pre 1957 have been classified as Medium or Heavy tanks.
Leaving aside the classification that emerged in WW1 (As they aren't relevant to us), in WW2 a distinct pattern emerged.
Tanks are typically used in many roles.
1 - Infantry Support. This is when tanks advance with an infantry unit, providing both fire support, fire suppression and cover.
2 - Recon. These are the ultra light armoured tanks that move very fast and used to scout enemy positions or enemy armour
3 - Amphibious assaults
The above 2 roles were covered by light tanks.
At the start of the war though, all tanks were pretty much light. The German Panzer Mk 1 & 2, the American M2 Stuarts, the Japanese type 95 Ha Go (don't laugh, it literally was the Hago )
Then an arms race began, with countries slapping more armour and powerful guns, to counter it the Russians very cleverly adopted a sloped armour (this deflects most of the kinetic energy of a shell) but the others who lacked this technology simply kept slapping armour.
Distinct roles began to emerge.
Already covered the role of light tanks
Medium tanks were your "MBT's", the Panthers, the Panzer Mk4's, the Shermans and THE ABSOLUTE war winner, the T34. These were your workhorse tanks. They were a combination of fast, heavily armoured and had a solid punch.
Heavy tanks were the defensive backbone (or in rare cases like in the Battle of Kursk, used as an offensive weapon). These were super heavy, not very mobile (and in the case of the German Tiger and Konigstiger, prone to breakdowns - over engineering was a big problem) but rock solid. In many cases they were sent to a portion of the front under attack, dug in (till the hull) and then became a rock solid defensive point.
Tanks were classified basis weight, and still are. The weight comes from the armour and gun but mostly the armour. So a thinly armoured tank would trade safety for mobility while a heavy tank would trade mobility for well...being a literal tank.
However post 1957, these classifications became redundant. You had one master of all trades called the MBT (which was the WW2 equivalent of a medium + heavy tank). You still had and have specialist tanks like a flame thrower tank, bridge laying tank, mine sweeper and the light tank.
The need for a fast moving recon, arty observing, infantry supporting light tank remains.
Now why do we need this in the Himalayas?
A lot of bridges have to be crossed and many of these do not have the ability to bear the 45 tonnes that our T90's weigh.
The mountain passes with snow drifts, gradients etc are not conducive to these beasts of war also.
India though has been obsessed by our western neighbour, and the desert is an ideal environment to operate MBT's (heavy + medium), so we never had a light tank doctrine (armies have doctrines according to which equipment is purchased and used). Though we used light tanks in the 47 war brilliantly. Gen Thimaya surprised Pakistani raiders by airlifting light tanks and then setting them loose where they never expected it.
We used light tanks to brilliant effect again in 1962 (French AMX's), but since then the IA has been obsessed like the German army of WW2, with heavy tanks.
But the latest border issue has woken up our command to the need for a light (15 tonnes) tank to patrol the high Himalayas.
Last edited by Aditya : 26th July 2021 at 19:58. Reason: Back to back posts merged
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|26th July 2021, 22:49||#32|
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Re: Battle Tanks used by the Indian Army
Anyway, coming back to the whole categorisation of armoured vehicles, all I need to add is MISSION CREEP. And what better way to demonstrate the perils of mission creep *******ising a platform from it's original clip than the ever salient and painfully real Pentagon Wars. I highly recommend watching the clip because it's the perfect encapsulation of how so many military programmes have been waylaid by overambitious mission planners and end users not staying focused..
I've often wondered how come the Merkava hasn't seen much export success and it comes down to it's origins. That tailor made design to IDF requirements has meant it hasn't appealed to the more typical usage scenarios your armoured command leaders would be looking at.
In closing I'll share some photos I've managed to take of tanks I've spotted in recent years:
A tan T-55 you'll encounter if you were to visit the Imperial War Museum North in Salford (I really need to get around to posting some of the other photos from my trip there..)
If anyone finds themselves wandering around the suburbs of Manchester (Didsbury if you're really keen) you'll come across this APC belonging to rather an eccentric gent. It has a road certificate and is just one amongst the many in his collection. I also happen to know he used to go on a night out in town with it for birthdays!
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|27th July 2021, 10:08||#33|
Join Date: Oct 2020
Thanked: 152 Times
Re: Battle Tanks used by the Indian Army
There are a few Russian shells (3BM46/3BM59/3BM69) that use DU, but AFAIK India does not use/have them.
Quoting from another Link
Arjun uses domestically designed and produced 120mm APFSDS shells, and as per DRDO, this also uses Tungsten alloy penetrator.
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